Sellers report delays at Amazon warehouses
Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is the program where merchants put their stock into Amazon’s warehouses, Amazon pick, pack and ship the stock and the big advantage for the seller is increased sell through rates due to Amazon’s service, qualifying for free next day shipping for Prime members and the ability to offer free SuperSaver delivery for non-Prime members.
FBA falls down if your stock doesn’t get put on the shelves and is stuck in goods in or in some cases we’ve heard of delivery was refused and the goods are stuck in the courier’s depot. The issues don’t appear to be limited to any single Amazon FBA centre and reports of goods stuck in transit since late October don’t bode well.
It is likely that Amazon’s warehouses are bulging at the seams currently with Black Friday just a couple of weeks away and sellers stocked to the brim ready for Christmas. Amazon themselves will have maximum stock levels too. That’s no excuse to have stock stuck at the warehouse doors though as if it’s not listed it can’t sell.
Have you seen any issues with Amazon FBA and getting your stock delivered and processed ready to sell?
I’d argue that Amazon have become a lot worse than eBay for sellers now.
We’ve spent years complaining about eBay but this last year has been a nightmare with Amazon.
i) Amazon suspending listings that often have hundreds of sales with no complaints and 4.5+ star product reviews – but because one customer calls in to complain they automatically suspend the listing, no questions asked.
Then to make things worse they send automated messages which do not make it clear why the listing was suspended and do not bother reading your responses, often taking 2-3 goes, many weeks per response and often just an automated reply just to get the listing re-activated. They do not take telephone calls to resolve these problems.
ii) FBA centre problems as above. Have had stock sitting around for 2-3 weeks. No support at all – they literally do not know what is going on, can’t offer timescales, don’t often respond to messages and telephone support always gives different answers.
Here is the future of selling / eCommerce. Bullied by a duopoly and a government that will do nothing to regulate their bad behaviour.
I totally agree with you. Amazons decline this year has been huge. I dredd to think what is in store for us throughout 2017.
FBA Shipments are taking longer and longer to be received and there are more and more instances of stock in a shipment being ‘lost’.
We currently have 2 shipments awaiting receipt that were delivered 11 days ago but are still showing as ‘In Transit’.
If shipments aren’t received we also can’t chase as we used to be able to do after a week as ‘reconciliation’ isn’t available for weeks now.
We’ll be keeping most of our fast moving lines in our own warehouse this Christmas and be hoping our competitors stock is stuck in a queue at Amazon! ?
I agree with the comments above, I too have stuck stock and listing going out of stock!
Whats going on?
Why not try something new for next year? http://www.onbuy.com
i sent some stock in last thursday , amazon email on saturday saying recieved and for sale on website monday , i cant complain , was a new warehouse inverclyde scotland i have never sent to b4 , i normally send my FBA stock to Peterborough
We’ve sent 4 shipments last month.
The first one we sent was delivered to Amazon on 19th August but still says “IN TRANSIT”
2 have been received.
The last one with 21 boxes is ireceiving but on 2 boxes have been checked in since Friday
All 4 shipments are to different FBA centres
“The first one we sent was delivered to Amazon on 19th October but still says “IN TRANSIT”
On average shipments are taking 2-3 weeks to get booked in – Absolute nightmare!
Pull your finger out Amazon, this is not like you!
There are also loads of sellers complaining on there that they are unable send CD stock to fba or list CD’s. Apparently amazon have restricted CD’s & Vinyl.
I would be great if tamebay could try and gather some info on this.
As of yesterday without notice we have been told we are no longer able to list CD’s for sale on Amazon. No messages no communication just a sign that appears when you come to list a new product. As we depend on Music sales this has come as a shock to us after trading as a market place seller since 2003 without a problem. Customer service has been poor as well I have one re-pricing case that has been unresolved and is more than three weeks old. I have called 6 times without getting a successful conclusion. Implosion comes to mind.
Keep up, CDs are listable again today.
What Andy said:
“FBA Shipments are taking longer and longer to be received and there are more and more instances of stock in a shipment being ‘lost’. “
Amazon has definitely got much worse this year.
I wonder if there are penalties for Seller Central staff taking decisions that cost Amazon money (e.g. confessing that stock has been lost so that Amazon have to pay compensation) ?
Recent experience strongly suggests that raising a case which can be quickly resolved is OK … but anything that needs real investigation and/or compensation just gets ignored.
I think that Amazon should live by the same standards of behaviour that it expects of its Sellers – on the basis of the outstanding cases that have not been resolved for weeks … they would be banned from the site by now.
Not just delays, the amount of missing units is an issue. Having to wait ages to actually get anything done. I always dread it when a box goes to Peterborough, as they spit it and send it everywhere.
Just had 300 units arrive in Swansea last night at 17.30, so we will see.
Amazon is not really making money for us, am thinking of starting to do more merchant sales next year. Am fed of a competing direct with them anyway, least I can control my own stock and shift it away if they are just undercutting.
It would be worthwhile looking at some of the alternatives on the market like Cloud Fulfilment, where you have full control over your stock as they have great WMS and a team who can support you with any ongoing issues rather than just being a number as many of Amazon’s customers feel.
Can cloud fulfillment get your products shipped as Prime and a boost to winning the buy box?
Or a price which is all you really are. Amazon is the only marketplace we don’t use our primary name.
More problems emerging.
For the second time in one week, we have been charged for an Amazon refund given to a customer for the non-delivery of a FBA order.
Amazon told the customer that “the courier had lost them and so I never received the goods”.
Clearly the responsibility for safe delivery of an order processed through FBA is with Amazon – it seems that they now wish to charge the Seller if they fail to achieve that successfully !
I strongly suggest that all Sellers check carefully that any refunds they are charged with by Amazon relating to FBA orders are justified.
We are fairly new to Amazon FBA, how do you check to see the reason the refund was issued?
I don’t know of any Amazon report that tells you that – we just send an email to the customer telling them that we would like to know what went wrong because we are always disappointed when one of our products fails to please a customer.
Customers don’t always reply – so the fallback is to raise a query with Seller Support (but they don’t always reply either) :(
Good Luck !
Thanks for the tip. Will give that a go!
In Seller Central go to Reports>Fulfillment by Amazon>Cutomer Concessions>Returns
You can view online or download the report, in most cases the product will be returned to inventory.
I only have 10 returns but a number of them return no result when i search for them in there, any idea why that would be?
We have sent the FBA shipment on Monday and everything became fulfillable on Thursday morning. So no problems here.
2 -3 years ago if you sent FBA shipments during this period it would get stuck for 3 – 4 weeks. From our perspective, amazon has been improving their FBA shipment processing.
Its not just inbound. If you read feedback for FBA sellers there’s a surprising amount of negative feedback for late delivery, which Amazon take responsibility for so it doesn’t impact the seller’s rating. Although Amazon say feedback for sellers improves performance, they clearly don’t want anybody leaving visible feedback for them or they might have to pay attention to their own performance rather than squeezing the last penny out of every process and every employee. Fortunately for them they’ve discovered that people are very susceptible to brainwashing, and telling everyone how great their service is works way better than allowing customers to leave feedback. So expect the poor performance and the slave-driving of workers to continue.
Quick update. We’ve had 600 units delivered to Amazon on 19th October by UPS.
Its 16th November now and status “IN-TRANSIT” hasn’t changed.
That’s about £10K RRP stock we should have sold by now
Today I finally got a vague reply from Amazon on a case I raised on 4th November saying they will look into it.
Unfortunately the stock is at Rugeley which has just had the fire!!